‘Most hospitals’ break work time rules

A majority of hospitals in Sweden are breaking the working time regulations that were introduced at the beginning of the year, according to the Swedish Medical Association .

'Most hospitals' break work time rules

The new rules provide for an uninterrupted eleven-hour rest period between shifts and only four county councils have signed local collective agreements which allow an exemption from the system.

“In the other councils they are actually breaking the law every day, because there is no agreement over how the rules should be dealt with and it’s not possible to stick to them,” said association chairman Eva Nilsson BĂ„genholm to Swedish Radio’s Ekot programme.

The main problem arises when doctors are at home but on call. If the doctor is called into the hospital then the day’s rest is broken and a new eleven hour period must begin.

That creates difficulties with scheduling shifts, since it is impossible to predict when the doctor will be called in and therefore unable to work the following day.